The past few months have been good for Rivian, as they prepare to launch 3 vehicles this year: the R1T truck, R1S SUV and a delivery van for Amazon. They secured an additional 2.65 billion in funding from investors and are on track to achieve a massive IPO valuation by the end of 2021. They’ve also shown some cool content featuring their upcoming electric R1T and R1S, such as completing the Rebelle Rally and letting Obi-Wan Kenobi drive the R1T from Patagonia to LA. But back on the industrial side of things, there’s another interesting development. Bloomberg is reporting Rivian is actively scouting production locations in Europe, and may soon open showrooms too.
But the report says a European Rivian factory would first produce Amazon’s delivery van, rather than consumer vehicles. This makes sense, as Amazon currently has 100,000 of the electric delivery vehicles on order, and hopes to have a fleet of 10,000 by 2022 before the full 100,000 by 2030. Obviously, Amazon does business globally, and these vans will be making deliveries in outside US. That’s exactly why Rivian is looking at the UK, Germany and Hungary for a secondary factory for the delivery van.
Sources also told Bloomberg Rivian is working with real estate advisors to set up showrooms for its production vehicles, although its unclear if this would include the R1T and R1S. Over the fall, Rivian founder RJ Scaringe said he’s planning on introducing smaller EVs for China and Europe, and this report of European showrooms bolsters that claim. Eventually, the European factory could build this smaller electric vehicle, whatever it may be.
Will the Rivian R1T or R1S make it out of North America? It’s unclear right now, as the Normal, Illinois-built vehicles’ size is more geared towards American roads and tastes. But Range Rover is one of the most successful luxury brands in Europe, specifically the UK, and was just confirmed to go electric for the next generation. Rivian’s R1S seems like the closest competitor to an electric Range Rover out there, blending off-road capability with on road luxury. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it take the fight across the Atlantic just as Range Rover does in the US.